VITAMIN D DEFICIENCY – AN EPIDEMIC

VITAMIN D

ITS ASSOCIATION WITH CORONAVIRUS

Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin (steroid) responsible for increasing the absorption of calcium, magnesium, phosphate and many other minerals. Vitamin D is not just one vitamin.

In fact, It is a combination of two compounds – vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) and vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol). Very few foods have vitamin D in them.

If we take India, a recent study shows that approximately 65-70% of Indians are vitamin D deficient.

Also, Considering the world as a whole, research has proved that this deficiency has reached epidemic proportions and as such people have to be cautious and alert to nib this problem in the bud.

I hope we all remember the chapter of our science book.

In fact, Medical Science has advanced and today it is evident that this deficiency affects all groups/ages including toddlers, school children, pregnant women, neonatal and senior citizens.

It is no more limited to rickets or osteomalacia.

Vitamin D deficiency leads to low estrogen levels in women, resulting in low sex drive, and in men, it causes low testosterone levels thereby affecting their sexual life.

This deficiency does not come with an alarm. It is simply happening in our body and we are unaware. Although, We visit the doctor.

ASSOCIATION OF VITAMIN D WITH CORONA VIRUS (SARS-Cov-2)

The world is going through coronavirus crisis.

The numbers are on a rise. From facts and figures it is evident that people who have weak immune system.

Also, who have medical conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, asthma, diabetes etc. have been badly hit by this pandemic.

Now here comes the role of vitamin D. Low levels of this results in autoimmune disorder. The levels are severely low in aging population.

This is the most vulnerable group of population for COVID-19.

The statistics show that the most vulnerable group of population of COVID-19 is the one that has the deficiency.

It is clear that the supplements can protect us against coronavirus (SARS-Co-V2) infection.

SYMPTOMS OF VITAMIN D

In most cases there are no symptoms of vitamin D deficiency.

  • Feeling excessively tired and fatigued.
  • Bone and back pain. (especially acute pain in legs in the morning immediately after getting up)
  • Muscle weakness.
  • Hair loss.
  • Bone loss.
  • Depression.

Discussing this concern with the doctor and getting a blood test is the only option.

CAUSES OF VITAMIN D

If we follow a strict vegetarian diet and do not exercise, it may lead to the deficiency of this.

Dark Skin– The pigment melanin reduces the skins ability to make it. Study shows that older adult with dark skin are at high risk of the deficiency.

Kidney cannot connect Vitamin-D to its active form–  Aging people have less active kidneys and as such vitamins does not get converted into active form.

Digestive tract cannot absorb adequate vitamin-D.

SOURCES OF VITAMIN D

  • Cod liver oil
  • Mushrooms
  • Egg  yolk
  • Salmons
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Supplements (as prescribed by doctor).

TEST OF VITAMIN D

In fact, Deficiency level is below 12 ng/ml. 

PERSONAL EXPERIENCE

My dad is 70 years old. As he was expose to cold weather, he suffered from  cold and cough.

He took the required medication and returned home after 3 days with dry cough.

It was alarming. Similarly, the case was of my kid who was 6 years old. He suffered from severe childhood asthma.

After giving him the required supplements of minerals and vitamins, he is out of the problem.

TOXICITY

As already mentioned this is an important hormone for our body.  Excessive doses in form of supplements can cause toxicity in the body.

Consultation with doctors and blood test at intervals keeps a check on the risk of overdosing.

In fact, Overdosing on this vitamin can cause over calcification (building of calcium in body tissues or organs, or blood vessels).

Few signs and symptoms of toxicity are as under:-

  • Confusion
  • Abdominal pain
  • Depression
  • Weakness
  • Kidney stone
  • Vomiting
  • Abnormal heart rhythm
  • Heart attack

Thank you!


Leave a Reply